Journal of Biosocial Science

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COVARIATES OF CHILD MORTALITY IN MALI: DOES THE HEALTH-SEEKING BEHAVIOUR OF THE MOTHER MATTER?


JOSEPH MASUDI  UCHUDI  a1
a1 Population and Development Program, Cornell University, 133 Warren Hall, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA

Abstract

This paper uses data from the 1995/96 Mali DHS survey to examine the importance of a wide range of socioeconomic, behavioural and biodemographic factors in the determination of child mortality in Mali, with a special focus on maternal education and behaviour. The central hypothesis of the study is that advances in maternal education would contribute little to child survival in settings such as Mali’s urban and rural communities where progress in educational attainment is not matched with improvements in other aspects of socioeconomic development such as economic growth, job creation, financial security and public health and medical resources. Units of analysis are children born in the past 5 years to DHS respondents (women aged 15–45) who were married at the time of the survey. The Cox proportional hazards regression technique has been used to estimate the net effects of variables included as covariates. The findings indicate that the health-seeking behaviour of the mother matters more than maternal education in explaining the observed differences in infant and child mortality in Mali’s urban and rural areas.